Wow, I just picked up my first local strawberries of the season yesterday and I can’t believe how different they are from the ones the Boston supermarkets have been hawking!
I went to the Jamaica Plain Farmer’s Market in the Bank of America parking lot and bought two pints of strawberries from Stillman’s Farm.
I buy fresh and local whenever I can, but the grocery stores have been offering such great deals on strawberries from California this spring that I haven’t been able to resist them.
The first thing I noticed about the local strawberries is that they are much smaller than the California berries. The second thing I noticed was they’re not ruby red like those giant globules.
But the third thing I noticed was how different they tasted! Much tarter, but also much more complex than the berries that have been shipped from the West coast. If the California strawberries range from 7 to 9 on the sweetness scale, the local berries range from 4 to 7. The California berries have obviously been bred to have a sweet, predictable flavor and texture, which, while tasty, is almost like eating candy. The local berries are more like wine, with varying notes of sweetness and earthy bright flavor.
While last night I dusted the berries in sugar, this morning I enjoyed them naked (the berries, not me). The more I taste these tender morsels, the more I like them. Most likely, I’ll continue to go back and forth between eating them plain and sweetening them.
Which taste do you prefer?